Daily Trust (Abuja)

12 January 2013

Nigeria: Gbobe Primary Health Centre in Shambles

Lokoja — Gbobe community in Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State shares boundary with Lokoja the state capital, but both are separated by the River Niger. Despite its proximity with the state capital, the community lacks the needed basic amenities that make life comfortable for the people.

The community has a population of about between 4,000 and 5,000 inhabitants, but has no electricity, portable water and even road while the only existing primary health centre in the area is in shambles.

Weekly Trust learnt that the primary health centre built in 2000 has no nurse and laboratory attendants as well as drugs while most of the facilities in the centre are not put to use.

Besides, the premises and surrounding have been taken over by weeds while the ceilings in most of the wards had fallen off as termites have eaten up most of them.

Though the laboratory office was under lock and key but Weekly Trust learnt that all the facilities needed to carry out laboratory test are in place but no staff to put them to use.

The community health officer at the centre Yasim Zacchious told Weekly Trust that drug was supplied to the health centre December last year and that they are yet to receive any this month

According to him, they have one nurse in the health centre but she was transferred out of the place last November leaving them with none, adding that they normally refer their patients to Shintaku health centre or Lokoja.

"We have all the equipment in our laboratory, but don't have the staff to put them to use. Also we don't have gardener and cleaner to clean the health centre," he said.

He, however, called on the government to provide a generator for the centre so that they can carry out medical test there instead going to Shintaku for the same purpose.

Weekly Trust also learnt that the only security guard at the centre is being paid by a good Samaritan from the area.

One of the residents who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity lamented that the government is not taking care of the centre hence most of them go to as far as Shintaku for the treatment.

"The health centre has no nurse, no ambulance and no generator, even the village generator that at time supplied electricity to place, has no diesel to power it," he said.

He urged the state government to put the centre in order so that the people would no longer travel all the way to Lokoja or Shintako for medical treatment.

Responding, the liaison officer of Bassa Local Government, Umaru Maigida Ibrahim said the council is doing its best to put the health centre in order for the benefit of the people.

He acknowledge that the state of the health centres in the rural areas are not encouraging, saying that this is the area the state government through the state Commissioner of Health can assist the local government.

"The information they gave you is not true, we have staff and a generator, but it is only diesel that they don't have there. On our own, since we assume office as the head of the council, resources has not been encouraging but we are trying to repair the all primary health centres in the local government area one after the other," he said.

He, however, denied that the only security guard in the centre is being paid by a good Samaritan, saying they have security guard paid by the council.

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